COVID-19 Re-Entry Plan Phase I
PHASE I - PREPARING FACILITIES AND CONGREGATIONAL MEMBERS FOR RE-ENTRY
STEP 1. COMMUNICATION PLAN -
Churches should establish an effective, intentional and timely communication plan for all congregational members. This will inform the congregation about the steps taken to create a safe and healthy space. This is also especially important should services need to be canceled due to outbreak or other emergencies.
Examples of effective communication plans include:
- Email distribution lists
- Social media sites (FB, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
- Alternative ways to communicate with church members that may not have technology - a phone tree is a great example.
Signage in the facility is a great form of communication and should offer clear directives to attendees regarding upholding the guidelines. Churches should mark designated entrances, exits and building traffic patterns, mark sanitizer stations, remind people to practice social distancing, hand washing, and not to touch their faces. In posted signage, digital communication, and verbal instruction, use positive, encouraging language that reflects hospitality, while maintaining a commitment to loving our neighbor and doing no harm. (Find links to help with signage on our COVID-19 Resources page).
STEP 2. TEAM EFFORT -
Recommend clergy and administrative councils jointly make decisions regarding re-entry. Churches may want to consider a Re-Entry Task Force to assist with re-entry recommendations at the local church level. This task force could be composed of a representative from Trustees, Finance, Worship, SPRC, Key Staff, Lay Health Advisor (nurse, physician, etc.)
Example Duties of Re-Entry Task Force
- Keep informed and review guidelines and recommendations as they are available.
- Serve as support for clergy and congregation.
- Make recommendations to Ad Council or other entities.
- Assist in reviewing guidelines and training volunteers to assist with re-entry into facilities and worship.
STEP 3. CLEANING AND PREPARING CHURCH BUILDINGS AND WORSHIP SPACES -
- Prior to re-opening, churches should consider the need for increased usage of cleaning supplies, hand soap and hand sanitizer. Make arrangements to secure an ongoing supply of needed items. Discuss with custodial staff/volunteers any changes that are required to meet enhanced disinfecting standards. Please see the following websites for suggested cleaning directions/supplies.
- Individuals conducting cleaning prior to re-entry should wear masks and gloves during the cleaning process.
- Deep clean church facility including pews, bathrooms, doorknobs, light switches and microphones using a list of approved chemicals and disinfectants.
- Disinfect all common areas and surfaces and do not use areas for social gatherings.
- Consider limiting restrooms to one person at a time. Larger bathrooms could accommodate more than one person, but the recommendation would be to, for example, force the spacing by “closing” every other urinal or stall.
- Maintain ample hand washing supplies in restrooms and provide sanitizing stations throughout the worship area and facility.
- Find directions from CDC here:
- Remove all items from pews and backs of chairs where COVID-19 virus might live. This includes hymnals, Bibles, attendance record pads, pens, children’s worship bags, etc.
- Post signs about social distancing, hand sanitizer areas, no handshaking, non-contact greetings, and proper hand-washing. Please see KYUMC COVID-19 Resources for templates and posters.
- Commonly used surfaces should be sanitized before and after any gathering. This includes pews, meeting tables, kitchen surfaces, etc. Current research indicates that the novel coronavirus can live up to three days on a dry surface.
- Hand sanitizers should be touchless if possible and at every entry as well as near pews.
The tabs below will lead you to further explanation of the three Phases of the Re-Entry Plan.
Contact the members of the Re-Entry Task Force at firstname.lastname@example.org